ColorTherapy: The 19th Century Galleries at the Met

Color Therapy is away this week, traveling and hunting down new colors, but I promise to return soon with lots of bright colors from south of the border. If you’re looking for inspiration in the meantime, you should absolutely visit the reinstalled 19th Century Galleries at the Met. If you want a sneak peek, let me help you out below...

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has recently rehung its galleries of American and European painting, and they look wonderful. Barbizon school, Impressionism, Early Modernism and Fauvism all look as if minted anew. But what else struck me was the color of the walls.

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Many of the rooms are painted in full colors such as taupe, portrait gallery red, teal and French Blue. I’m mentioning this because there are still so many people afraid to go any more colorful than linen white and to them I say: take the plunge.

The galleries look fresh, clean, period correct and even contemporary, but never musty. Just look at how that Braque painting pops off the wall. I have no color recommendations this week, only the admonishment to banish the beige.

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Look for my new favorite thing: the restored Wisteria Dining Room, an Art Nouveau delight. Look also for Sargent’s scandalous Madame X, newly ensconced in a magnificent vista framed by an arch, and moved here from the American wing. Its placement suggests that it was actually the Americans who were at the center of so many things. You go girl.

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- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.